By: Shimmy Blum
The Bell Works Building in Holmdel, New Jersey is essentially a high end city of its own. With over 2 million square feet of space, and cavernous parking lots and roads surrounding it, you feel business innovation and energy upon approach.
On Thursday evening, the path through the main entrance to the building was adorned by decorative lanterns, and straight ahead through the massive lobby, was a VIP gathering to celebrate the first anniversary of the founding of the Orthodox Jewish Chamber of Commerce (OJC), and the official launch of the 2016 J-Biz Expo.
The by-invitation-only attendees included prominent businesspeople, bank representatives, community activists, government officials and others who are part of the OJC’s formidable network. Attendees came from Boro Park, Flatbush, Williamsburg, Crown Heights, Manhattan, Lakewood, Monsey, Far Rockaway, Deal, Baltimore, and other neighborhoods. They enjoyed an upscale buffet and dessert presentation from Prime 95 Restaurant of Lakewood, as well as a delectable wine tasting from Royal Wines, while celebrating the OJC’s accomplishments and collaborating for the road ahead.
A prominent entrepreneur and media personality, Ari Zoldan, CEO of Quantum Networks, served as the event’s emcee. Mr. Zoldan spoke of how the OJC is already “moving the needle” on behalf of our community’s business success.
Duvi Honig, founder and director of the OJC, then detailed, to loud applause, the stunning progress that the Chamber has made within just one year. It counts as members approximately 1,000 diverse community businesses from throughout the region, and forged coveted relationships with leading figures in the business and governmental spheres.
Several networking events, seminars and other OJC events are scheduled for this month in Brooklyn and Lakewood, and a satellite office is set to open soon in Queens. “We’re here to strengthen our core and pull together our resources to help each other and help ourselves,” Duvi said, issuing the clarion call.
The 2016 J-Biz Expo
To advance this goal, Duvi announced the OJC’s official launch of the “J-Biz Expo,” an exciting business-to-business conference and networking event, which will take place on June 1, 2016. The J-Biz Expo is the successor to the previous annual “Parnassah Expo,” the largest event of its kind, and takes the highly successful B2B event to yet the next level. J-Biz will be held at the 150,000 square foot New Jersey Convention and Exposition Center in Edison, and will serve as a one-of-its-kind venue with exhibitors of business services for all industries, and a business conference featuring leading business figures and coaches.
“J-Biz Expo is the perfect place to build your business’s brand, put a face to your business and grow your business in any way, including human resources,” Duvi says. The expo is expected to once again attract thousands of motivated attendees and exhibitors, and help all – at any level – build relationships and find valuable resources.
In response to feedback from exhibitors and attendees from previous Parnassah Expos, the J-Biz Expo will include several exciting changes. First off, the date has been set for after Pesach, to make it easier for people to attend and exhibit. Secondly, the previously two day event will now be one day, so that attendees who can only come on one day shouldn’t miss anything. Third, the business conference segment of the expo – featuring world class speakers and workshops – will take place during the morning hours through 1 pm. The B2B networking on the expo floor will only open once the conference is completed, and extend into the early evening hours. With everyone at the same, at the same time, networking potential is increased manifold.
Following Duvi’s presentation, Mr. Raphael Zucker of Somerset Development, which sponsored the anniversary celebration, congratulated Duvi and the OJC. Mr. Zucker related how much he personally benefited from networking and encouragement from others in the years since he undertook the ambitious Bell Works project, and how OJC is a unique vehicle to offer this power for our entire community. “When we stand together, we benefit from each other,” he said.
Noted askan Rabbi Gedaliah Weinberger then addressed the crowd, extolling the virtues of how the OJC and the expo help promote financial success throughout our community. Enthusiastic letters from New Jersey Senator Cory Booker and Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno, in honor of the OJC and expo, were read aloud to crowd, highlighting just how powerful and influential these community resources have become.
“More than a ‘B2B’ event, J-Biz Expo is a ‘P2P,’ person to person, harnessing the power of personal relationships for business success,” says Duvi. “Our motto is, ‘If you aren’t networking, you aren’t working.’”